Introduction / History The Turks originated in Turan, a region that lies between the Caspian Sea and the Mongolian Desert. They arrived in Anatolia, Turkey (Asia Minor) in the 11th century as conquering warriors. By the year 1299, the Turkish dominated Ottoman Dynasty began ruling over what would become a vast empire, greater in area than the Roman Empire.
Rumelian Turks are a remnant of the Ottoman Turks who swept through Eastern Europe during the fourteenth century. For five hundred years the Ottoman Empire controlled the European Balkan Mountain region. At its peak, the empire encompassed the Balkan Mountains, Arabia, and North Africa.
Since the 1920s modern Turkey has become a secular, developed nation that sits, literally and symbolically, between the Christian West and the Muslim world. Wherever they live the Turks are almost 100 percent Muslim, but they emulate the Europeans by developing international businesses.
Where are they located? The vast majority of the Turks live in Turkey, but they have a diaspora that stretches all over North America, Europe (including Czechia), and even Sudan. One of their smallest communities is in Czechia.
What are their lives like? Some Turks live in Czechia for business reasons, while others are students. There are so few of them that they are mostly unnoticed by the majority people. The few Turks in Czechia keep aspects of their culture such as their Sunni Islam and their delicious cuisine.
Lamb, a favorite meat of Turks, is typically prepared as a pilaf (rice and oil cooked with small bits of meat). Musaka (roasted meat and eggplant) and kapama (mutton with spinach and green onions) also are popular dishes. The Turks, who relish sweets, are especially fond of Turkish delight (a gummy confection usually cut in cubes and dusted with sugar). The Muslim religion forbids drinking alcoholic beverages; instead, the Turks drink lots of strong coffee and yogurt.
What are their beliefs? Nearly all Turks in Czechia are Sunni Muslim. The Turks adhere to the five essential "pillars" or duties in Islam: (1) A Muslim must affirm that "there is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet." (2) Five times a day he must pray while facing Mecca. (3) He must give an obligatory percentage (very similar to tithes) on an annual basis. (4) He must fast during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim year. (5) He must try to make at least one pilgrimage to Mecca in his lifetime.
What are their needs? The Turks in Czechia need the opportunity to find the only One who can forgive sins, because of what He did on the cross. Jesus Christ rose victoriously on the third day to free all of us from sin, including the non-responsive Turkish population in Czechia. They can share in Christ's resurrection victory by surrendering to Him!
Prayer Points * Pray for His kingdom to come and His will to be done among the Turkish people in Czechia.
* Pray for a movement of Muslim Turkish households to study the Bible and accept the blessings of Christ.
* Pray for a spiritual hunger that will drive the Turkish people to the arms of Jesus.
* Pray for workers who are filled with the fruit and the power of the Holy Spirit to go to the Turkish people.